This week I went to the Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge again, after a 5-month hiatus. Greenhead flies were already out and I had to keep my car windows closed, except for brief moments to take a photo. Shots taken through the windows turned out badly. Here are some better ones taken with the window quickly open.
Since I was inside the car and not wearing a mask, a female Red-winged Blackbird could not resist acting like a Karen.
Following are photos taken recently at home of other birds.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been coming in greater numbers. Capturing their flight is usually a challenge, but here are some of the better shots.
Two days ago, I was watching the Eastern Bluebirds when suddenly the female brought a green caterpillar to the nest. There must be baby birds in there!
She went in.
A minute later she came back out. No diaper! This could be because the parents are known to eat the fecal sacs of young baby birds.
A little while later, the father brought more food.
I took the last picture of the first brood babies on June 3. So 20 days later, these two parents have brought forth a second brood. Amazing, but credible. Eastern Bluebird incubation period is 10 to 19 days. So, it is quite feasible for this couple to lay their eggs and incubate them successfully between June 3 and now.
Instead of two Eastern Bluebird fledgelings, there are actually four! I was able to photograph them two days ago when they congregated on a high oak tree branch. They were too far, but can be recognized in the photos below.
I don’t know whether they are all from the same brood that lived in the birdhouse in our backyard, or from that and another nest somewhere in the grove behind our house. They seemed to get along fine.
Meanwhile, the female Bluebird still lives in that birdhouse.
Yesterday, early in the morning, a House Wren came near the birdhouse and started calling out.
The noisy call woke the sleeping Bluebird up, and she peered out to let him know the birdhouse belonged to her.
The House Wren promptly left. A young Blue Jay stopped by our bird feeder.
Then a female Hummingbird came to the nectar feeder.
When the baby Bluebirds fledged two weeks ago, a storm prevented me from watching them leave their nest and I gave up seeing them again. This past week, I noticed two new birds that were very energetic as they flew around, chased each other, or performed other types of flight acrobatics. I realized that they must be the Eastern Bluebird fledglings who are still living in our backyard. I finally got a good photo of one of them as the fledgling perched on our TV antenna.
It looked darker than its parents, and had spots both on its back and chest.
Meanwhile, the parents still live in the birdhouse and did not mind posing for me.
I briefly saw the male bird landing on top of the female bird, but could only get a shot after she threw him off her.
So there is hope for a second brood of Eastern Bluebirds this year. I read that the first brood may help their parents feed the second brood. As of now, they are still carefree, practicing their dives and swoops along the ground to catch insects.
For the past few weeks, the young Eastern Bluebirds have kept their parents busy feeding them and doing diaper duties. Last week they finally poked their heads out of the birdhouse. I saw two of them, but could only photograph the dominant sibling.
Mother was soon there with a nice Sloe Bug.
Father brought some interesting insects too.
Both parents took turns with diapers (fecal sacs).
While I was photographing a heavy rainstorm arrived, forcing me back into the house. The following morning, I came out to look for them, but the two young Bluebirds had fledged and were gone out of sight. Since then both parents have been flying in and out of the birdhouse, perhaps preparing for the next brood. Bluebirds could have as many as three broods a year.